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How “not very academic” Linda is now on track for a psychology degree

Psychology student open university

Linda took it upon herself to juggle studying with her busy daily life

Linda has always been fascinated by what makes “people tick” and in her current role at a law firm she’s worked for many years with clients who have sustained severe brain injuries. “In my role I get to see neurological reports and I find these fascinating. How the brain works, its cognitive functions and how it can be altered due to accidents is very interesting.”

University wasn’t considered an option after school

Describing herself as “not very academic”, Linda did not even think of university as an option after school. She went straight into work as a junior in a solicitors firm and gradually worked her way up, picking up knowledge along the way and gaining legal qualifications and experience in her specialist area. Having worked for 27 years in law, in 2010 she decided to take up part-time study with the OU to further her interest in psychology.

My studies have been hugely beneficial in my professional life, helping me to understand what our clients are going through emotionally and psychologically following a major, life-changing injury.

Juggling studying with a busy life and personal challenges

With a demanding job and a busy life, Linda found herself studying late at night to complete her OU assignments, and she’s even taken books to the beach whilst on holiday to keep on track! Her stepsons notice that she’s “always studying” and she’s keen to learn more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and how you can re-programme minds to change behaviours.

Linda has had to face many challenges in the course of her studies, not least the death of her teenage stepson, which came soon after her own mother’s death and brought with it a lengthy inquest which was very difficult for the whole family. Linda was able to suspend her OU studies for a year whilst life got back on track.

Linda is now in her final year of studying for her Psychology degree, and will be the first one in her family to graduate.

Take it further

Study psychology with The Open University

Take a look at our free learning resources on OpenLearn

Linda spoke to The Guardian, giving some tips on how to stay motivated when you study online

 

About Author

Kath works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She is a skilled communicator with more than 15 years’ experience working in both the public and private sectors. She has a BA (Hons) English and American Literature from University of Warwick and specialises in stories from the Faculty of Social Science, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, BBC programmes, and student stories. In her spare time Kath enjoys touring the country in her hand-painted camper van, Trevor.

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